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Why we get mommy brain during pregnancy & 3 ways to fight it

Doctor of Physical Therapy & Founder of DLVRMaternity, an online community for expectant moms to find education, advice & solutions for their bodies during pregnancy.

If you’re feeling you have Mommy Brain during your pregnancy, here are three ways to fight it.

pregnant woman

Photo credit: andreasrimaging/iStock/360/Getty Images

"Mommy Brain" is real... you may be forgetting things during pregnancy and there is a reason for it. Pregnancy brings with it a variety of hormone changes, including a steady rise in progesterone levels. Progesterone has also been shown to affect memory function. In a 2007 study published in The Journal of Neuroscience by Van Wingen, et al., they studied healthy women given a dose of progesterone and subsequently tested their recall memory. They found the women given the progesterone injection had significantly decreased recall memory abilities compared to the control group (healthy women not given progesterone). If you’re feeling you have "Mommy Brain" during your pregnancy, here are three ways to fight it.

Exercise

Being physically active is essential to keep our brain connections strong.

Along with its obvious benefits for your physical well-being, exercise has been shown to release chemicals within your body that improve your mood and improve alertness.

Sleep

Sleep is key for our health, both physical and mental.

Adults need bedtime routines just like children do. Use low lighting, quiet activity, and other calming methods to create a routine that signals the end of the day and the beginning of your evening. Waking when you naturally rise out of deep sleep can lead to a more refreshed morning and day, and help you stay mentally on task as well.

Healthy diet

To nourish a healthy brain, your diet should have an emphasis on fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. Also make sure that you are drinking enough water throughout the day too. Some memory-boosting foods are: blueberries, healthy fats, turmeric, cacao beans, broccoli and cauliflower.

So... "Mommy Brain" is real and you can blame it on the elevated progesterone levels of pregnancy. Once the baby comes, you’ll have to find another excuse.

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